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Office of Independent Education & Parental Choice

McKay Scholarship Payment Basics

The Department of Education makes McKay Scholarship payments in four equal installments, as directed by statute (September 1, November 1, February 1 and April 1). McKay Scholarship payments are made by individual warrant (check) payable to the student's parent or guardian and shipped by the Department of Education to the private school of the parent's choice.

Payment Eligibility

A private school must register and enroll a new student at least 30 days prior to the first quarterly scholarship payment (see McKay Scholarship Important Deadlines). Both registration and enrollment are required to be completed by the deadline in order for a private school to receive a scholarship payment. Also, statute requires that a student's intent to participate in the scholarship program must have been filed at least 60 days before the first payment received.

The initial scholarship payment each year will be made based on students enrolled by the August 2 deadline, and subsequent payments will be made upon verification of attendance at the private school. The amount of the scholarship will be the calculated amount (based on Matrix, county, and grade level) OR the amount of the private school's submitted tuition and fees, whichever is LESS.

District Verification is another factor in the payment process for McKay scholarships. Prior to each payment, district personnel compare the list of students in their district for whom scholarship payments will be issued to the district's student enrollment and indicate whether or not each student is enrolled in a public school.

Once all of the above deadlines and verifications have been met, the scholarship payments are shipped to private schools. The private school should contact the parent to whom each warrant is made, and he or she must come into the school and restrictively endorse the warrant (sign the check) to the private school for deposit into the school's account.

Restrictive Endorsement Procedure

When a private school receives McKay Scholarship checks, the school should immediately stamp the back of each check "For Deposit Only" followed by the name of the school's bank account, which should match the name of the school on file with our office.

Scholarship checks should not leave the possession of the private school, and students should not take scholarship checks home for a parent endorsement (signature). The private school should notify the parents that the checks have arrived and ask the parents to come in to the school to restrictively endorse (sign) the warrants.

It is essential that the parent whose name is on the scholarship check be the individual that endorses the check when received by the private school. Under law, power of attorney cannot be given from the parent to the private school.

The parent should make sure that the back of the scholarship check states that the money is to be deposited into the private school's account. If not, the parent should write the statement "For deposit only into the account of (name of private school)" before signing the check. The parent should also verify that the information on the front of the check is correct.

It is recommended that the back of the McKay Scholarship check state the following:

  • Parent Signature
  • For Deposit Only
  • (Name of School's Bank)
  • Into the account of (Name of School/Account Number)

Subsequent to each payment, the Department of Education reviews a sample of endorsed scholarship warrants to confirm compliance with the restrictive endorsement requirements.


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